Sunday, 7 August 2011

August crop

The heady ambience of the greenhouse: warmed wood, the gentle buzz of a trapped fly, the unmistakeable smell of tomato plants.

Gathering tomotoes for today's family lunch. The sun is in and out, the sky dominated by clouds of varying whites and greys - but when it's blue the colour of the trees and the light on the lawns is so uplifting - a world suddenly lit up by sun.

Monday, 20 June 2011

A weekend in June...

A lovely, long weekend in the garden saw me out, sketch book in hand, drawing, painting, writing, trying to record everything. The vegetable garden in particular looks so appealing at the moment.

The lavender is such a beautiful bright purple; the rain has made everything greener and the red of the old brick path is the perfect backdrop to photographs. It's incredible to see the differing forms of the plants all bursting out brightly together.

Plenty more of this to come...

Friday, 17 June 2011

Almost a year now since I last posted. So ashamed!! Things have been very busy with Holly's Houses and a new venture I have just set up to create yet more stamps - Bloomfield & Rolfe (watch this space!). Meanwhile here are some more beautiful pics of our lovely Victorian House & Garden to share...

The clock is actually made by another 'Rolfe' - or so it says on the face. Not a relation, as far as we know!

I'm back on the case now. Will post next week with wonderful pics of the cider we made last September from the glut of apples and pears we get every year....and then pics of us drinking it a couple of weeks ago!

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

An unexpected friend

Suddenly, at the front of the house rose the most enormous, most gorgeous and splendid poppy I had ever seen. Its virulent vermillion hue looked as if it had been painted with black india ink using a soft, wide watercolour brush. I can't wait to paint these little numbers, and how brilliant would they look blown up huge and cropped and hung on the wall.

So much inspiration from one, albeit perfect plant.

Time to grill some stuff...

A few weeks ago and a warm Sunday evening was the perfect setting for an impromptu BBQ using our little portable number. Nick perfected his BBQ-ed garlic pitta breads and we scoffed delicious char-grilled salmon and new potatoes from the garden with gorgeous green coriander.

Lovely Lilac

All the blossom seemed to come at once this year but I always manage to forget about the late-comers - the heady, scented lilac with small buds so vibrant and tactile up close they look almost plasticy.

And the Horse Chestnut whose blooms this year seemed to tower up higher than ever especially in contrast with the dark lushness of the leaves and the bright blue of the sky.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

It's divine to come home after a long weekend away; I let myself in the side gate and smelled the sweetness of the overhanging branc hof blossom, simlutaneously a ? begins its shrill, melodious call which sings out into the evening air. Yes, the question mark. By now I should know what it is that I have heard - but I don't. Ah, but now I hear a blackbird's warning call in the bushes, that strange evocative chuckle. I have finally identified the mystery caller of the evening 'neep'; again, the blackbird. He is without doubt now my favourite bird; so simple in design with his fluid form and bright beak. His 3 calls are all wonderful; the fluting song, neither an encore nor a melody, his trademark chuckle and now the evening 'neep' - his alarm call, apparently.

A few weeks ago around May Bank Holiday time I was up at 4am to go on a bird call walk in Pensthorpe in Norfolk. I dont know that I can identify as many as I would like but I did get a chiff chaff, robin, wren and blackbird right, and the wonderful wooden-piped coo of a cuckoo skirting sleeky overhead was a dead giveaway. Amongst all the wetland it was unsurprising to hear alot of reed and willow warblers with their strange buzz and whistle. Probably not something Iwould hear down here in Surrey.

One of my favourite calls is the cack cack of a jackdaw, but those, heard in great throngs remind me of Yorkshire more than anything else where they used to swirl en masse around the great oak tree.

This evening the garden was lush and green after the weekend rain and smelt characteristically fresh, especially when mixed with the ongoing sweet smells of spring. Entering, the kitchen was cosy and clean as ever and the living room smelled of warmed wood and old, beloved textiles, ancient glass windows and drying papers and petals.